New Bank of Tanzania payment system set for February roll-out

Friday January 07 2022
By Rosemary Mirondo

Dar es Salaam. The Bank of Tanzania (BoT) is now expecting to roll out its new payment system next month after successful trials that involved banks and mobile operators.
Known as Tanzania Instant Payment System (Tips), the interoperable system allows transfer of payments between different participating digital financial service providers, both banks and non-banks, in real time.
BoT which started operating the pilot project of the system since last June, has confirmed that it’s expecting to roll out the system in February.
BoT’s National Payment System director Mr Bernard Dadi told The Citizen that they were supposed to roll out the system last month but  it was postpone to February, this year.
“We started with a pilot project in June that took on board three banks and two mobile companies - Airtel and Tigo,” he said, adding that Vodacom are expected to follow soon.
He said Tips will enable interoperability of digital financial services amongst payment service providers to make the transaction experience cost effective and secure.
Tips will operate in such a way that users of all digital payment systems, including mobile money operators (Airtel Money, Tigo, M-Pesa, HaloPesa, Ezy Pesa and T-Pesa) will be registered under a single platform so much so that anyone wishing to send money will only require to search the name of the registered recipient in the system ,which will be available through both USSD Code and an application.
Currently, when sending money to someone of a different network, one has to go through a number of steps and through different charges as required by each network operator, but with the Tips, all will be under a single platform.
Initially, the system was meant to be rolled out in December last year, but the central bank BoT had to upgrade it [the system] by changing its build up, said Mr Dadi.
Earlier, Mr Dadi said told The Citizen that the first phase will involve person- to- person and person to business payments.
According to him, after the first phase will be followed by the second, there will be second, third and finally the fourth phase, which will include tax payments as well as bulk payments and the like as per market demands.
The implementation of the system was initially scheduled to start June 2020, but had been shelved due to challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
BoT had to dissolve the team that was implementing the project following the Covid-19 pandemic and recruit a new one. Following recruitment of the new team, they could no longer launch the system as had earlier been planned.
in June and instead aimed to launch it at the end of 2020.
The preparations for the use of the system that will operate in card-based payments, mobile banking, e-economy schemes and internet banking, was first put underway in June 2018.
The system will reduce the need to use cash for assorted transactions in the economy.
Tips is expected to increase financial inclusion by improving access and usage of financial services in Tanzania through promoting the interoperability of digital financial services amongst all Payment Service Providers in the country.
It is also expected to increase the efficiency by moving from bilateral interoperability to multilateral interoperability.